Red Barn Run 2012

Red Barn Run 2012
We love riding and competing in endurance races in the South. The folks, as a group, are friendly and genuinely glad to see new comers. The vets are used to seeing alternative breeds other than Arabians.

The location of the ride is Chester GA. It is so tiny that it could be a suburb of Mayberry. It has the claim to fame of having been the home town of Pretty Boy Floyd. I mean the famous criminal, not the speed racking horse. It seems that Floyd left town for greener pastures. In a classic southern tradition not unlike direction advice that starts with, “turn where the tavern used to be”, the ride is named after a red barn that is no longer on the property.

The ride site is owned by the Perry family. They own all 4000 acres of the ride site, and this ride is the only time the family place is open to the public. Camping is great but rustic. There is a water spigot and you have to haul water back to your trailer. The Perry’s own an off site winery, and they offer wine and wonderful concoctions they call “slushies” that many women, including my wife Sandy, loved. Both the Friday and Saturday evenings were catered as a part of the ride fee. Friday night was barbecue chicken and Saturday night featured barbecue ribs.

The Perry’s are great folks and they turn the dinners into a Mayberry- like impromptu skits where they end up making fun of their relatives or friends. The top awards feature things like hand-made wooden giant rocking chairs and mounting blocks. The vets included Otis Schmitt, Ken Marcella and Dee Dee Huff. Each of the 4 rides had about 60 entries. The trails are flat, fast and often a bit sandy. Each road crossing is manned and the crossing guards are usually the Chester volunteer fire department or friends of the Perrys. This is one of our favorite rides and I urge you to try it.

It is always great to see the Angie McGee family, Joe Schoech, and the other SE riders. We had to haul 11 hours to get there and that means getting up at 3:30 am. My plan was to ride my sweet heart twh mare Kate both days, and take the twh Jazz as my back up. Sandy took one of her twh mares Cheyenne. I loaded the horses in the dark and off we went. Shortly after leaving, the dash cluster on our 2007 Ford diesel 250 went dark and the gauges went dead and the battery light came on. The motor did not die and when the gas pedal was tapped, the power came back on. This happened on and off for the whole trip. It meant you could not really listen to the radio and required us to go to a “happy place” as we drove.

We got to Southern Ga. no worse for wear and set up in a cotton field. While unloading the horses, Sandy happened to mention that I had brought Savanah instead of Jazz as my backup. Oops. I loaded the wrong black horse in the dark. So, we brought the wrong coggins and travel permits. That will teach me to go to bed earlier.

Sandy crews for me the first day of some rides so she can rest and ride the second day. I love my little Kate and she has the heart of a lion. But, she is not a speed horse and considering I am planning on riding her multi day here, I knew I was riding for completions. I also decided to hold Kate back during the first 15 mile loop to save her energy for later in the day. I let the leaders go and then kept riding slowly. I was 6 miles into the first loop when I saw a woman on her back on the ground and a rider who was a nurse caring for her. Horse traffic was sent slowly around them and it turned out she was fine after being checked at a local hospital.

Kate handled the excitement of almost 60 horses well as she always does. Watching the heart rate monitor and the GPS gave me something to do. I rode conservatively all day. Kate did great and I started planning on how to get the turtle award. At mile 40, I learned I really had no chance, so I started thinking about Kate being on her feet in the heat longer than necessary. I gave her head and asked her to go to the barn. She did just that and ended up 25th place.

1 04:48 McClary, Deborah Psyches Traveler (Traveler) (BC)
1 04:48 Gielen, Robert Vagas (Vagas)
3 05:14 McAfee, Lois LMS Hoosier (Hoosier)
4 05:14 Klingerman, Linda Thrust
5 05:14 Bunnell, Becky BR Jubaleigh (Bailey)
6 05:26 Crowe, Wesley Koweta Bentley (Bentley)
7 05:26 Silbert, Denise Arciem Alicyn (Ali)
8 05:31 Hamilton, Melissa A. Kabirs Dakota (Birs)
9 05:32 Tyler, Lisa Laizer ()
10 05:32 Gantt, Amy Warrant Promise

The LD results for top ten on Day 1 were as follows:
1 02:34 Mike De Chant on Koweta Pendleton
2 2 02:35 Amy Sumrall on DK Shadow Dancer
3 3 02:43 Bill Armstrong on Prima Donna
4 4 02:43 Scott Carroll on Tempest On Tha Bay
5 5 02:43 Pamela Houmere on Belladonna BC
6 6 02:43 Theresa Carroll on Deverish On Tha Bay
7 7 02:55 Margaret Clower on Aliya Jewel
8 8 03:03 Jerry R. Brown on The Jenerator
9 9 03:06 Alice C. Farrar on SMS Apache Shadodanz
10 10 03:28 Christy Smith on Koweta Ferrari

Day two was a going to be in the lower 80’s so it was a bit cooler. However, the humidity was higher and the sun was out with no cloud cover during much of the day. It was going to be horse management time. Cheyenne was wound up during the warm up so Sandy changed her plan to go out with the hotter front runners and stayed back with Kate and me. During the first 3 miles we settled in to about 40th place out of 59 riders. Kate moved the best she ever had and did a wonderful running walk.

Cheyenne, however kept calling for the alpha female horse we had left at the trailer. She would throw her head around and jumped around a few times, just to let us know how unhappy she was to leave Savanah behind at the campsite. Sandy was not having a happy time…

She said, “I cannot do this for 50 miles, I am going to have to get off and walk her back the three miles to camp.” I had her stop and pull off the trail and we let the field go by. Hello 54th place. I got off and checked her head stall and bit. There was nothing wrong with the horse’s gear. She was simply pining for her alpha mare buddy. Sandy said, “What do I do, I cannot continue like this?” I said, “Well, I am not telling you what to do, but what I would do is make her listen by giving her some rein on a shoulder and hip and telling her NO! when she misbehaves again.

I said, “You are apt to get a rodeo when you do this.” She said, “Okay, will you do this for me?” I said, “I would love to, but if we swap horses on the course we are both subject to being disqualified.”

I watched and when Cheyenne started to toss her head, Sandy said, “NO” loudly, and let Cheyenne have a rein on her shoulder and hip. Cheyenne is a very big, strong mare. We were doing about 7 mph. She lifted her front end off the ground for a step or two and then launched with all four feet off the ground as though she was a lipizzan. I heard something like “AHHEE” from Sandy.

Thankfully, my wife has velcro on her backside. They hit pretty hard, but there was no buck or further rearing. Sandy gave Cheyenne a slight collection and off we went with Kate in tow. We went 8, 9, 10,11 and then 12 mph. This was too fast for Kate and Cheyenne was not showing signs of slowing. I yelled, “12 is too fast for Kate, I’ll see you at the finish, make me some coffee!” I pulled Kate over and turned her backwards on the course and we waited.

From then on Kate and I were looking to finish the last 45 miles and try for the turtle award. I watched the heart rate and gps. Kate’s heart rate was wonderful all day but she did pant in the humidity. Each vet check showed her with low gut sounds which concerned me. We went back to the trailer, she ate the whole break and then her gut sounds would be A- or B+. Once her heart rate hung for a few minutes at around 60 until she peed and then her heart rate immediately dropped into the 40s. I intend to work on peeing on command like they use with TB’s in race track training.

Kate averaged 118 H.R. from mile 25 to mile 40 which was in full sun and less water than I would have liked. Kate came down quickly but still panted in the humidity. More eating during the break and her gut sound came back strong. We averaged 108 heart rate during the last 10 miles.

At the finish I saw my new friend Cheryl Van Deusen and she graciously pitched in and quickly helped me get Kate down to 60. Kate passed the vet in and completed although she was still panting. Dr. Ken Marcella said it was just her way of cooling in the humidity and she was not having a problem.

We ended up missing the turtle for the day but did take the turtle for the 9 horses that completed both days of 50s. The panting quickly stopped and Kate ate like a horse.

Sandy finished 25th place and Kate ended up 41st. Sandy and Cheyenne finished over an hour and 45 minutes ahead of us! I was very proud of how Sandy handled Cheyenne and that she did not panic during the starting problems. My lovely wife is my hero.

The Endurance Results for top ten for Day 2 were as follows:

1 04:51 Myers, Lee WA Love Letters (Mo)
2 04:51 Lorey, Taryn Moons Cygnature (Buddy)
3 04:51 McGhee, Josie TM Cade
4 04:51 Cruz, Willie Cookie Bear
5 04:58 Bunnell, Becky BR Jubaleigh (Bailey) BC
6 04:58 Bryant, Jordan Isabells Dream
7 04:58 Bryant, Rusty Fancy
8 05:04 Kollath, Marbeth FFC First Csea Lord (Winston)
9 05:04 Newman, Stagg Jake LW TOP TEN
10 05:14 McAfee, Lois LMS Hoosier (Hoosier)

Day 2 LD top ten were as follows:

1 on CM 02:32 Ashley Wright on Classy
2 2 02:34 Michelle Wright on Nicky
3 3 02:34 Suzie Anderson on Rhythm In Red
4 4 02:41 Margaret Anne Christie on FF Special Delivery
5 5 02:42 Amy Sumrall on SWA Amazing Finish
6 6 02:42 Mike De Chant on Koweta Pendleton
7 7 02:43 Jeri Flint on Mr. Honey
8 8 02:45 Madison Nagel on Sayyid Rahul PR
9 9 02:45 Melissa A. Hamilton on Jaazil BC
10 10 02:45 Johnny PetrasMorrocco

During the great awards and dinner, we shared peach slushies and BBQ with new and old friends. I was pleased to win a pair of new Renegade boots for Kate.

We will definitely go back, as the SE in general, and these folks in particular, know how to put on a great ride. I give them an “A+”. Next year we will go a day early to try and get ready for the humidity and heat and I will try to load the right horses…

Rack on!
Keith and Sandy Kibler
Shawnee Sunrise Farm

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